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01-12-2011 | Original article | Uitgave 12/2011

Netherlands Heart Journal 12/2011

Clinical worsening after pulmonary endarterectomy in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension

Netherlands Heart Journal > Uitgave 12/2011
B. Schölzel, R. Snijder, W. Morshuis, N. Saouti, T. Plokker, M. Post



Pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) is the most effective treatment for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). The aim of this study is to evaluate long-term survival and freedom from clinical worsening after PEA.


All patients who underwent PEA in our hospital between May 2000 and August 2009 were included. Follow-up parameters were all-cause mortality and time to clinical worsening, defined as a combination of death, need for pulmonary hypertension-specific medication or 15% decrease in six-minute walk distance without improvement in functional class. The Cox proportional hazard regression was used to identify predictors.


Seventy-four consecutive patients (mean age 55.9 ± 13.8 years, 51% female) underwent PEA. Prior to surgery, 55 patients were in NYHA functional class III or higher. The mean pulmonary artery pressure was 41.3 ± 11.9 mmHg with a mean pulmonary vascular resistance of 521 ± 264 dyn·s·cm−5 (range 279–1331 dyn·s·cm−5). Five patients (6.8%) died in-hospital. Out of hospital, 5 out of 69 patients (7.2%) died during a median follow-up of 3.7 ± 2.2 years [range 0.1–8.5 years]). The one- and five-year survival rates were 93% and 89%, respectively. During follow-up, clinical worsening occurred in 13 out of 69 patients (18.8%). The one- and five-year rates of freedom from clinical worsening were 94% and 72%, respectively. The baseline NT-pro BNP level tended to be a predictor for occurrence of clinical worsening.


Pulmonary endarterectomy is associated with good long-term survival in patients with CTEPH. However, clinical worsening occurred in a substantial number of patients at long-term follow-up.

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Netherlands Heart Journal

Het Netherlands Heart Journal wordt uitgegeven in samenwerking met de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Cardiologie en de Nederlandse Hartstichting. Het tijdschrift is Engelstalig en wordt gratis beschikbaa ...

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